Details on elixir for weight loss

December 27, 2007|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon

I would like to try the cinnamon, lime juice and vinegar combo mentioned in your column for weight loss. What is the recipe? My husband is diabetic, so we just started using cinnamon extract made in the drip coffee-maker. How much lime and vinegar do we need to add? How much should we drink? And is the (shudder) vinegar necessary?

Many readers want this recipe, and the person who came up with it agreed to share it in detail. Here is Lisa's Weight Loss Elixir: Put five decaffeinated green tea bags in 5 cups of water and bring to a full boil. Let steep five minutes; remove and discard tea bags.

Add 2 level tablespoons baking soda and stir (tea will foam). Add 1/3 cup ground cinnamon and stir briefly. Cover and let steep.

Cool the tea and move it to the refrigerator. Allow it to settle for at least two days. Then pour off and save the liquid and discard the solids.

Add 1 packet Certo liquid pectin, 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup lime or lemon juice, 5 cups unsweetened juice (any combination of pomegranate, black or sour cherry, sugar-free cranberry or grape) and 1/3 to 1/2 cup Splenda to taste. Stir. Keep refrigerated. Drink 1/3 cup before each meal or snack. Lisa avoids high-glycemic foods (white stuff like sugar, bread, pasta, potatoes and rice).

She suspects that this works for her because she is insulin-resistant and cautions that it might not work as well for others. Insulin resistance may contribute to excess weight.

There is research on cinnamon and vinegar independently reducing the rise in blood sugar and insulin after a meal. Caffeine boosts insulin levels, so using decaf green tea makes sense (Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental, December 2007). Green tea may help reduce weight modestly (Journal of the American College of Nutrition, August 2007).

I did an internship in OB/GYN in 1973 at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. When a wound would start to open rather than healing, we would have the patient come to the hospital a few times a week and pour Golden Blossom honey (purchased in the supermarket) straight from the jar into the wound. Nothing grows in honey. We'd get nice granular tissue that would heal from the inside out.

Thank you for sharing your experience. Wound management requires medical supervision, with or without honey.

My wife washes her hands as if she is going to do surgery. She says it takes 30 seconds to get rid of germs. I wash my hands for about three seconds. I don't see any advantage in wasting a lot more time. What do you think?

Your wife is right. It takes about 30 seconds of vigorous scrubbing and rinsing to wash off most germs. If everyone followed your wife's good example, there'd be fewer colds passed around.

My doctor prescribed Toprol-XL several years ago, and it worked well. Last week, my pharmacist refilled my prescription with generic metoprolol succinate. Two days later, my blood pressure shot sky-high to 190 over 100. Luckily, I found some leftover pills of the brand name Toprol-XL. My blood pressure came down to 140 over 90 -- high but OK. Is there a problem with this new generic? This has never happened to me before.

Toprol-XL (metoprolol) is a slow-release beta blocker prescribed to control high blood pressure and irregular heart rhythms. Many other readers have reported rapid heart rate and higher blood pressure after switching to some generic forms of metoprolol succinate.

One patient experienced pounding headaches with blood pressure of 225 over 125 after one week on metoprolol. Another wrote, "I have bouts of ultra-fast heartbeats, atrial fibrillation and severe premature ventricular contractions which have been controlled with Toprol-XL for years. On the generic, it is as if I'm not taking anything."

We urge anyone having a problem with a generic drug to discuss the problem with the prescriber. The Food and Drug Administration insists that all generic drugs are equivalent, but our readers describe varied reactions. To read their reports go to peoplespharma

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of this newspaper or e-mail them via their Web site:

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